The Riverboat Discovery on the Chena River in Fairbanks is the last remaining riverboat that represents the iconic steam-driven riverboats that changed river transportation in Alaska. This is just one of several alternative forms of transportation.
Posted Apr 28, 2015
An Alaskan cruise is the ideal way to travel to The Great Land — but what happens once you get there? You'll have the chance to explore some exciting alternative forms of transportation when embarking on your onshore excursions.
1. Fly on a Float Plane
Cars, trucks, and buses won't do you much good in Alaska. Planes that float, of course, are a different story. Float planes were first introduced to Alaska in the 1920s, when military planes equipped for both land and water made a trip around the world, touching down in Alaska at multiple locations. Since float planes, or seaplanes, can land on water, they reduced the need for airfields in many locations. This led to the discovery of many new areas in Alaska (which was no easy task, since 90% of the state is inaccessible by road). As such, Alaska has six times as many pilots per capita as anywhere else in the country. Experience your own new horizons on a float plane trip on your next Alaskan cruise.
2. Take to the Water on a Sea Kayak
The tradition of kayaking is thousands of years old. Native Alaskans have been using a form of a kayak for open-water stealth hunting for a long time. Today, Alaskans use kayaks to explore the coast, enjoying close encounters with calving fjords and native wildlife. You can take your own sea kayaking adventure in Prince William Sound.
3. Travel Remote Alaska on a Dogsled
When winter settles in Alaska, the rivers freeze. Back in the days when the rivers were the roads, this was bad news for commerce. Native Alaskans and fur trappers used dog mushing to navigate and access interior Alaska during the harsh winter months. Dog mushing, now Alaska's state sport, gained its popularity from the Iditarod: a grueling race of about 1,000 miles between Anchorage and Nome that commemorates the old freight trail that connected western Alaska to crucial supplies. Experience what it takes to run this race by visiting a top dog musher and taking a cart ride, pulled by champion dogs.
4. Zip Around on ATVs
Alaska probably has the highest use of ATVs in the United States. Their popularity is mostly driven by their versatility, with Alaskans using them for recreation, work, and basic transportation. They are also fun to drive, which you can discover for yourself by letting out your inner child on a guided ATV tour.
5. Explore Old Trade Routes on Riverboats
Steamboats changed river travel in Alaska when they carried gold seekers to remote areas along the Stikine River in the 1860s. Their use expanded to several rivers throughout the Gold Rush, most notably the Yukon River. The steamboats of the Yukon carried critical supplies, miners, and fur traders during the summer months, when land travel was virtually impossible. Only one authentic Sternwheeler currently operates in Alaska, and you can ride on this riverboat along the Chena and Tanana Rivers when you visit Fairbanks on an Alaska land and sea vacation.
Ready to travel on land, air, and sea? Discover the Alaskan cruise or land and sea vacation that's perfect for you.